Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Coal block case: Rungtas sentenced to 4 years of rigorous imprisonment

The special court earlier had convicted Rungta on charges of criminal conspiracy and cheating for making false claims in the coal block allocation related to North Dhadu block in Jharkhand.

Written by Kaunain Sheriff M | New Delhi |
April 5, 2016 2:30:05 am
coal scam, coal block scam, Rungtas, coal block allocations The special court earlier had convicted Rungta on charges of criminal conspiracy and cheating for making false claims in the coal block allocation related to North Dhadu block in Jharkhand.

Stating that “white collar crimes” are “more dangerous to society than ordinary crimes” due to higher financial losses and “damages inflicted on the public morale”, a special court Monday sentenced Jharkhand Ispat Pvt Limited directors R C Rungta (79) and R S Rungta (60) to four years of rigorous imprisonment.

Awarding the first sentence in the coal block allocation cases, Special Judge Bharat Parashar also imposed a fine of Rs 25 lakh on the convicted firm, JIPL, in connection with the irregularities in the North Dhadu coal block in Jharkhand.

“It is on account of such unscrupulous businessmen and industrialists that despite 69 years of independence, our country is still lagging behind most countries in industrial/infrastructural development,” Parashar observed.

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Besides the jail term, the special court imposed a total fine Rs 5 lakh each on the Rungtas, who were convicted on March 28 on charges of cheating and criminal conspiracy under IPC.

“..’white collar crimes’ are in fact more dangerous to society than ordinary crimes, firstly because the financial losses are much higher and secondly because of the damages inflicted on public morale. The average loss from ordinary crimes such as burglaries, robberies and larcenies, etc., may run into a few thousand rupees only but the loss which ‘white collar crimes’ may cause run not only in lakhs but in crores of rupees,” Parashar said. “The only reason which may, however, explain such behaviour of ‘white collar criminals’ is their greed or lust to acquire maximum material resources in the name of their business, taking benefit of open competition, economy and individual freedom,” the court added.

The special court also dismissed the arguments of the convicts that there was no loss to exchequer as there was no extraction of coal. “Had coal been allocated to a deserving applicant company, who would have proceeded ahead to extract coal and to also establish its end-use project achieving the final ultimate capacity, then it would have certainly added to infrastructural /industrial development of the country,” Parashar said.

The special court added that non-extraction of coal and non-completion of the end-use project “in itself has caused huge loss to the nation which is difficult to be computable in monetary terms”.

“The fact remains that a coal block came to be allocated to JIPL on account of the acts of cheating committed by the convict persons pursuant to a criminal conspiracy hatched by them,” the court said.

First sentence in coal block allocation cases

“It is on account of such unscrupulous businessmen and industrialists that despite 69 years of independence, our country is still lagging behind most countries in industrial/infrastructural development,” observed Special Judge Bharat Parashar. The court imposed a total fine Rs 5 lakh each on the Rungtas.

The court also dismissed arguments of the convicts that there was no loss to exchequer. “Had coal been allocated to a deserving company, who would have proceeded ahead to extract coal and to also establish its end-use project achieving the final capacity, then it would have certainly added to infrastructural /industrial development,” Parashar said.

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